With Caitlyn Jenner’s big reveal in recent months, there’s been a lot media attention regarding her transformation and life as a transgender woman. Though her story’s been covered by everyone from Diane Sawyer, Vanity Fair, CNN and Fox News, there’s been little coverage about Jenner’s experience with insurance matters, an issue that many transgender men and women struggle with daily.
In a recent article with CNN, Lourdes Ashley Hunter, national director of the Trans Women of Color Collective, discussed how there’s still a lot that needs to be done for the transgender community. In regard to Jenner, Hunter said the following: “Her celebrity status is great for visibility, but it can and will be used as a distraction from the lived experiences of trans folk who continue to battle discrimination when accessing basic needs such as housing, employment, education and health care.”
Although the technical description of an insurance agent is “a person employed to sell insurance products,” it’s also an agent’s job to educate his or her clients on the products available and best suited to their client’s need.
Whether those products are health, life, long-term care or disability insurance, it’s important than an agent is able to adequately explain everything from coverage and premiums to what can be expected from the application and underwriting process — for any client, including a client who is transgender.
For clients whose medical and psychological histories are extra sensitive, it’s equally crucial that agents are aware of the tools and resources available so clients are ensured a safe, positive experience. Because many agents haven’t written disability insurance for a transgender client, I asked two major DI carriers to provide some insight to the underwriting process in order to both educate and familiarize agents with the process of writing DI coverage on a transgender client.